For kids who are taking off into chapter books:
Though it is a picture book, Alan Say’s Grandfather’s Journey is a story that will go over really young kids’ heads. If your children live far away from their grandparents, or have moved any distance, they will understand the message here. Say’s illustrations are modern without being garrish or ugly.
A late Victorian era tale about three children (one boy, two girls) whose father is mysteriously taken from their comfortably weathly London suburb home, The Railway Children is an insightful story for audiences of both genders. As there is no money for school, and their new house is in the country, the children have little to do but become involved with the railway.
A book for girls, What Katy Did tells the story of a motherless oldest child who, through an accident and a wise older cousin, learns to not only bear suffering, but bless others through it.
Christian Focus’ series Ten Girls Who… and Ten Boys Who… are favourites in our house. Starting with childhood, they tell the stories of dozens of men and women who grew up to serve the Lord and His church in a plethora of ways. The only trouble with them is that I have a hard time keeping up with all the biographical and theological questions that they generate.